Chris Eubank Jr will carry a name with him into his fight on Saturday. The word Sebastian will be stitched into his shorts. The memory of his late brother is with him in his boxing, in his training and in his life. That will always be the case.
Sebastian Eubank, Chris Jr’s brother, died suddenly and tragically in 2021, only a month after he himself had become a father.
That loss is painfully raw.
Eubank Jr is a self-contained and restrained character. He rarely shares his emotions publicly. But he did express how he is coming to terms with that grief.
Training day, in day out with a painting of Sebastian looking over him in his gym, competing with his name on his shorts, helps Eubank Jr feel his presence.
“Absolutely. That’s why that painting is in the gym with me each time I train. That’s why his name is on the back of my shorts,” Eubank Jr said on Behind the Ropes.
“He had a great spirit. He has a great spirit and I feel that energy around him, around me, at all times, especially when I’m fighting, especially when I’m training, especially when I see him – whether it’s his name or a picture of him.
“It gives you a spiritual boost. You know you’re not alone.
“Even though you are alone in that ring, in the spiritual world you’re not alone He’s got my back. He’s on the back of my shorts.”
Sebastian Eubank was also a boxer, who had his professional debut at the Manchester Arena – the venue where Chris Eubank Jr boxes Liam Smith on Saturday.
Coming to terms with the loss, Eubank Jr continues these acts of remembrance in tribute to his brother and to celebrate his life.
“It was an extremely negative thing that happened,” he said, “but I’m trying to turn it into something positive. I don’t want it to be negative for the rest of my life. I don’t want, every time I see him or think about him, I get sad. I don’t want that. I’m trying to change that into happiness.
“I want to be happy when I see his painting. I want to be happy when I see his name.”
He doesn’t just fight in memory of his brother, Eubank Jr also fights for the future of his nephew, the child who never got to know his father.
“I am happy when I see his son. These are all ways, things that I use as good energy. These things only make you fight and work harder,” Eubank Jr said.
“Because he [his nephew] is going to grow up. He is going to need to be supported. He is going to need figures to look up to and I have to cover all of those. When I have a son, I’m sure it’ll be the same thing.
“It just gives that extra energy and that extra reason to do what you’re doing, to win these fights, to keep yourself in the gym. It’s a family affair.
“It always has been.”